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Delhi HC grants bail to riots murder accused, questions video evidence and witness statement

Mohd Bilal was arrested in connection with the death of Mudassir, who sustained a bullet injury on February 25, 2020, during an anti-CAA protest in Kabir Nagar.

The court also noted that the star witness of the police has claimed that Bilal changed the focus of the CCTV cameras and was present with a pistol with which Muddasir was shot. (File)

The Delhi High Court has granted bail to a man, who was in custody since June 22 last year, in a murder case connected to the Northeast Delhi riots. Mohd Bilal was arrested in connection with the death of Mudassir, who sustained a bullet injury on February 25, 2020, during an anti-CAA protest in Kabir Nagar.

Justice Mukta Gupta in the order noted that the prosecution case is based on three pieces of evidence — that Bilal was seen damaging CCTV cameras near the spot, the statement of a person who claimed to have witnessed the incident, and the statement of a constable who claimed to have identified the accused on the basis of CCTV footage.

Police told the court that videos of various places were taken during the riots and Bilal was behind the wall where Mudassir was also standing, which was seen by the private witness from his house.
The court said it fails to understand that while videography was going on at the spot, why a video of only 35 seconds showing Muddasir being injured was captured and why not prior to that or thereafter.

“For the reason the same would have captured all the people around the place of occurrence. Be that as it may, as noted above, the videography conducted by police to keep a watch on the people protesting does not show the presence of the petitioner,” Justice Gupta wrote in the order.

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The court also noted that the star witness of the police has claimed that Bilal changed the focus of the CCTV cameras and was present with a pistol with which Muddasir was shot.

“Case of (private witness) is that the petitioner was at the back of the wall towards the drain. However, when this Court wanted to know the location of his house from the video footage, it could not be seen in the video footage. It is claimed that the house (the witness) was in a side lane and thus the possibility of him being able to see the exact incident in a mob of hundreds of people from his residence is too remote,” reads the order.

Taking note of the “nature of evidence” against Bilal and the fact that he has been in custody since June 2020, Justice Gupta said the court deems it fit to grant him regular bail.

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“Consequently, the petitioner is directed to be released on bail on furnishing a personal bond in the sum of Rs 50,000 with two surety bonds of the like amount,” said the order.

First published on: 08-10-2021 at 08:00:50 pm
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